GroupsImpactNewsOCFSome of the groups awarded grants for community integration projects

Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) has recently awarded Community Integration grants, worth more than £58,000, to bring people from different backgrounds together around the place where they live. The grants were to support new or existing activity that gives people a sense of belonging and ownership over their place; where traditionally marginalised voices are heard; where everyone has a role in decision-making; and where lasting connections between different groups could be built. 

OCF has run regular grants rounds with the aim of improving community integration since 2017, thanks to the contributions of a small cohort of philanthropists interested in this issue. In April 2022 we carried out a consultation with the local charitable sector to help shape the terms of reference for this year’s grants round. As a result of this consultation, we wanted to fund activities organised in the following ways:

  • Activities that involve grassroots members of the community in devising their own projects
  • One-off cross-community events when balanced with long-term outreach and relationship-building
  • Activities that bring people together with a practical focus and sense of shared purpose
  • A charity’s existing activity may well fulfil the criteria
  • Both universal provision of services and work targeted at specific beneficiaries
  • Activity that prioritises acceptance and respect of diversity
  • Partnerships between organisations.

14 organisations were awarded £58,352 and will aim to reach over 15,500 beneficiaries through their projects. See the full list of grants awarded below.

One of these organisations, Tandem Collective has a mission to influence positive change towards social justice and environmental sustainability through arts and creativity. This grant will enable them to run a full term of their new weekly community music group, celebrating cultural diversity in Oxford. Weekly peer-to-peer song-learning workshops will engage participants from a wide cross-section of the local community, including both refugee/migrant/asylum seeking communities and residents from British backgrounds. Their sessions create an inclusive, welcoming space for migrant and non-migrant communities to build connection and friendship and share their heritage. The group will perform as part of an event at the end of the term. Preparing for a performance gives a sense of shared purpose to the group, and builds confidence in participants through the validation of publicly sharing their heritage, as well as demonstrating positive intercultural interaction for audiences. Participants will be recruited through existing community networks and partners (Mandala Theatre, Syrian Sisters, Asylum Welcome, Refugee Resource, Multaka, EMBS college) and targeted publicity.

Refugee Resource will use the  funding towards supporting their weekly therapeutic football group for young men, aged 16-20 years old, for the next 12 months. This is a jointly run project between Refugee Resource, Asylum Welcome and Oxford United in the Community. The project includes mentoring and training up the older young men, trips to football matches, psychotherapist supervision and outreach support. Sessions are run weekly in a secure location where the young people feel safe to enjoy themselves. The ‘older’ young men who volunteer their time to support are training up as sports leaders and coaches. The group has been running as a pilot with around 20 young men attending every week. This funding will help establish the group as a sustainable part of the three charities’ provision for these young men, including practical and emotional support from Refugee Resource and Asylum Welcome, and coaching input from Oxford United in the Community.

OCF is currently looking to support older people through the Sir George Earle Benevolent Fund. Find out more and apply

List of grants made in OCF’s Community Integration grants round:
Primary Beneficiary
Number Of Beneficiaries
Amount Awarded
Berin Centre
Community Kitchen Garden
Local residents
 £           4,358
Thomley Hall Centre Ltd.
Open for all days
People living with learning disabilities
 £           4,920
Peppard Lawn Tennis Club (“Peppard LTC”)
Refugees – Tennis Coaching Support
Refugees/asylum seekers/vulnerable migrants
 £           1,000
The Maple Tree
A welcome to Ukrainian Refugee Families
Refugees/asylum seekers/vulnerable migrants
 £           1,810
Oxford Hindu Temple and Community Centre Project
Oxford Mela
People living in poverty/disadvantage
 £           1,375
Refugee Resource
Therapeutic football group
Refugees/asylum seekers/vulnerable migrants
 £           4,984
Leys CDI
The Leys Community Led Projects
People living in poverty/disadvantage
 £           5,000
Jacari Tuition Programme
Refugees/asylum seekers/vulnerable migrants
 £           5,000
Tandem Oxford CIC (working title Tandem Collective)
Starling Sessions 2022
Local residents
 £           5,000
African Families in the UK (AFiUK) CIC
Parent Time Drop ins
Refugees/asylum seekers/vulnerable migrants
 £           5,000
Oxfordshire Play Association
OPA Play & Activity days 2022
Local residents
 £           5,000
Oxford Hub
Refugees/asylum seekers/vulnerable migrants
 £           5,000
Cutteslowe Community Association
Cutteslowe Community Centre Provision
Local residents
 £           5,000
Real Time Video Ltd
Wallingford Community Podcast Radio Project
Local residents
 £           4,905